The moment that Juventus purchased Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez from Manchester City for a poultry £10million the destination of the Serie A title was effectively decided.
Here was a club who had already won consecutive titles playing swashbuckling, enterprising football recruiting a player whose reputation as a bulldozing, clinical forward was well known to all those in the game.
Problems under Roberto Mancini aside, Tevez had been a worthwhile addition for City, playing a key role in the club’s title triumph of 2011/2012. He had been their talisman, their hero and their idol, having turned his back on Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson to don the sky blue of their noisy neighbours instead.
Tevez became the symbol of the City revolution, proof that when it came to the transfer market they could compete on an even footing. Their decision to sell him to Juventus was only made when the player himself game them no other choice.
And at the Old Lady, the Argentinean has inevitably thrived. Only Ciro Immobile and Luca Toni have scored more Serie A goals than Tevez this season.
His goals have propelled the Turin outfit to new heights this year. Wearing the number 10 shirt on his back, the number coveted due to its allegiance to club legend Alessandro Del Piero, Tevez has played the most crucial role of all in the title win.
He had long been linked to both Milan clubs, and had Inter or AC got their man it could have been their name on the Serie A trophy instead.
Both have suffered miserable seasons, with the former securing Europa League football and the latter missing out on European football altogether.
Inter have released Diego Milito and are now on the lookout for a new marksman to elevate them to the next level and lead a renaissance. His countryman would have filled the void a year earlier, but instead the Nerazurri will begin pursuits of Immobile and Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado.
Neither of which come close to Tevez. The 30-year-old offers discipline and a robust work-rate in tandem with his ruthlessness, whilst his experience of playing at some of the biggest clubs in the world is something that Soldado or Immobile cannot offer.
It is unjust that Argentina failed to include Tevez in their squad for the 2014 World Cup, but their loss is Juventus’ gain. He operates best when fully fit and not jaded by international appearances around the globe.
Next season, his mission will be to end the Old Lady’s agonising wait for a first Champions League trophy since 1996. It is far from mission impossible.
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